Julie, I can’t describe how delighted I am that you contacted me. Anyone or any factoid that survived the stroke I had in 2015 (and the Heart Attack/Stroke incident on September 17th just gone) indicates what a deep impression it made on my brain. I love that you thought of me. I love that Jules and Joel and JR got you through to me at last. Thank you, you Js, for respecting my privacy and at the same time, giving Julie access.
Really, if it weren’t for the paperwork mentioned in my last (and what I thought would be my final) blog post, I would venture even less frequently into what you folks call The Real World. I was going to get rid of this whole site, seeing as I never use it to blog anymore, but something prompted me to pay the annual fee. Within 24 hours, Julie, your message came in. It was worth keeping the site to see your message.
And who knows? Maybe that’s what the site is for, to let me write my replies to you. You see, I’m no longer good on the phone (if ever I was, which I doubt). My brain’s dramatic cognitive changes, aided and abetted by the insights afforded me via long Covid and its accompanying loss of voice and strength; “disability” (sorry, but almost every word that pops into my head has quotation marks around it; nothing’s real to me anymore, especially not words); and what allopaths consider “illness,” have drastically changed how—or if—I communicate.
The one thing I can still do, apparently, is type on my laptop. With 60+ years of writing experience, it is something I can do that doesn’t leave me dizzy, disoriented, or downright ill. I do understand that you, however, may feel any or all of those things when reading my words! I cannot hope for understanding of what I say, as it’s all an exciting mystery adventure to me and I don’t really know shit. I can only hope that after so many years the grammar and spelling pass muster.
Since we met oh-so-many stories ago, Julie, my world view has changed profoundly. Religion and I are divorced now; we parted amicably and can now appreciate each other’s strengths. After the split, 50+ years Depression left too, after realizing all the things she thought were awful were really not. Fear left me when I got rid of old stories; realized that the past not only can’t be fixed, but isn’t real; and that “future” is merely the past trying to make me believe it’s real again. Julie, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be free of fear!
And thus I come to probably the most profound change of all: my relationship with words. All my life since the age of four has been about words: reading them, writing them, saying them, categorizing them, teaching others about them. And what I learned, Julie (oh and what a sad day it was for me, how I grieved!), was that words do not unite; they separate. They are the lowest form of communication. They seek to name and categorize and describe what, simply, cannot be named or categorized, or described. We appear as separate, but we are not. We’re as threads in a tapestry, or drops of paint on an infinite canvas. We’re “one, but we’re not the same,” as Bono says.
Words—even the most beautifully arranged—merely pin things down, like dead butterflies to a corkboard. Life is ever-fluid, ever-changing, never ever ever the same from one moment to the next, and we are part of that Life. If, when gazing out at the mountains and the incredible sky, I stop to compose a poem or even record my thoughts, I miss the Life that’s happening at that moment. I think phone calls exhaust me so because I’m forced to engage in what is, to me, unreality. My world is what is right in front of me, and that’s IT. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, nonviolent, generous, kind world. I feel extraordinarily blessed to just sit and enjoy it.
I enjoy it too because of people like you, Julie, who like your story of me so much you’ve held onto it. I’m both the who/what you thought or think of me and then again, utterly different. A bundle of concepts and stories that would not exist if it were not for you, and those of you reading this blog who have physically been in my life.
Life is a movie, projected by a Source I had the pleasure of meeting briefly on September 17th. I was invited backstage and was blown away by what I saw. There’s nothing but love there, I assure you; love and incredible special effects tailored by our own beliefs and thoughts. It’s impossible for me to see anything now in a “bad” light. It’s the perfect show and I’ve got plenty of popcorn. I don’t want it to end.
You were in an earlier part of my movie, Julie. Thank you for re-Minding me of that delightful scene. And thank you for using the blog. I haven’t lost all forms of communication after all! I can still write, however poorly the words convey my deep joy and contentment with Life.
I love you all, and I mean that. You have no idea how amazing you are, just as you are.